Flying MacArthur to Victory

978-0-89096-997-7 Paperback
6 x 9 x 0 in
584 pp. Illus., Maps.
Pub Date: 06/01/2000


“I shall return!” It was the most memorable phrase of the war for the Pacific in the 1940s. For many people, Gen. Douglas A. MacArthur’s vow to recapture the Philippines and the footage of him wading ashore with the troops were all that was needed to characterize him as egotistical and severe.

Flying MacArthur to Victory is the World War II diary of the general’s personal pilot, Weldon E. (“Dusty”) Rhoades. Rhoades’s days as a transport pilot ended when he got the assignment to deliver documents marked “For MacArthur’s Eyes Only.” After the documents changed hands the general invited Rhoades to be the personal pilot of the Pacific theater’s commander in chief. From that day in October, 1943, until his discharge in January, 1946, Rhoades not only had a front-row seat for confrontations and strategic discussions between MacArthur and his chief of staff, Gen. Richard K. Sutherland, but also witnessed their behavior in the private shadow of their awesome responsibilities.

The World War II diary of Gen. Douglas A. MacArthur's personal pilot, Weldon E. Rhoades, chronicles the daily hardships of the world's most all-encompassing war. Rhoades's front-row observations show military personnel performing their duties under the stress generated from a cycle of intense activity, unbearable boredom, frustration, and always, the pain of separation from loved ones. Here also are the dramatic confrontations, strategic discussions, and off-camera personality of one of history's most powerful generals, a man often branded by the public as egotistical and severe.

Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press